In case you had somehow managed to avoid the media circus that was the couple of months leading up to the Cannes Film Festival, you may have caught a glimpse of a black-clad Robert Pattinson on the cover of a recent edition of GQ, a magazine I happen to be obsessed with. In a word, it was magic. One minute he was just another Hollywood actor with a rather unappetizing reputation, the next he was Tom Ford’s latest fashion phenomenon, gracing the cover of a major men’s fashion magazine. The transformation was stunning and, although I had no idea what was going on, I found myself utterly captivated by the whole thing. That’s the power of the media. It is quite honestly overwhelming how this particular issue of GQ managed to captivate and mystify me. I felt like I was reading a fairy tale. One that happens to be true.

The Casting Call

In case you’re wondering, the black-clad man on the cover of GQ is not an actor or model. He is fashion designer Tom Ford. He may also be the most enviable person in the world, as far as I’m concerned. One would have to be rather ungrateful to be envious of a man like that, especially after what he’s been through. But let’s get back to reality for a second.

The fact is that Ford’s career has taken a rather interesting turn, which you may know if you follow men’s fashion in any way. For the past couple of years, he has been the muse of photographers everywhere, appearing on magazine covers and in selfies with his celebrity clientele. His recent work has been quite bold and masculine, in a very traditional, yet modern way. So it’s quite fitting that he would become the face of GQ, a men’s fashion magazine that often features celebrities and other high profile individuals, including some of Ford’s previous covers. In other words, it’s the perfect marriage.

From Bad To Worse

Looking back, one would have to admit that things weren’t looking good for Ford a few years ago. He had a terrible addiction to painkillers that nearly destroyed his life. After years of being a somewhat unassuming designer, he decided to share his story with the world, donating all his earnings to drug rehabilitation charities. Naturally, this act of kindness resonated with everyone he met. Just two months after his announcement, he received a call from Vogue magazine, asking him to become their new creative director. It was quite an amazing turn of events because, even though Vogue is one of the most legendary fashion magazines in the world, Ford was at the time mostly known as a good-looking man in a suit. One would have to assume that his appearance alone made him a more suitable candidate than many others. Besides, Ford had always had a keen interest in men’s fashion, so it was quite a natural fit. He accepted the offer and started working as Vogue‘s creative director, overseeing all their style-related content, while continuing to design suits for their customers.

A Renaissance Man

Fast forward to the present day and we find ourselves in a bit of a pickle. On the one hand, Ford is undoubtedly one of the best creative directors the men’s fashion industry has ever seen. On the other, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t morphed into something of a parody of himself, parading around in flashy designer labels, while completely over-saturating the market with his incredible work. In a way, Ford’s design team at Vogue must be doing cartwheels, as he continues to bring in prestigious clients and attract the attention of discerning fashion insiders and fans alike.

Back To The Future

When it comes to fashion, sometimes it’s important to look ahead rather than behind. And this particularly applies to Ford. The designer is often compared to the great John Galliano, the creative director of Dior, because of their shared sense of style and ability to bring in the fabulous. Naturally, it’s rather difficult to appreciate that comparison at the moment because Ford is more than likely going to pull a Galliano, showing up at the Cannes Film Festival looking like a mess and then completely reinventing himself as soon as the cameras stop rolling. That’s what makes him so fascinating. Despite all the success he’s had, despite all the praise he’s received, despite all the followers he’s gathered, there’s always going to be someone, somewhere, willing to tell him that he’s not perfect. I mean, come on, we’re all human and we’re constantly bombarded with contrary opinions. It’s practically impossible to win every single argument, in life or in fashion. That’s why Ford is still worthy of our admiration, even if he does insist on playing the part of his alter ego, Tom Ford, every single day.